What the hell is going on!? Is my baby crying?
Life can be easier with a good video baby monitor. You know, just because your baby wakes up doesn’t mean it needs your immediate attention.
Often, babies will just wake up for a moment and then fall asleep again on their own. This is normal and it’s better not to rush into baby’s room every time you hear a noise.
If you’re sick of having to get up and run around every time you think you hear the slightest hiccup from your infant, then maybe it’s time to get a wifi baby camera monitor.
Chances are you will find that just gazing quickly at the screen on your baby camera is enough to let you know that your LO is fine. Take my word – get a good baby video monitor with camera ASAP.
The thing is…. Which one to buy? What is the best for your baby?
Luckily, you can take a look at this list of the Best Video Baby Monitors for 2017. We put this together after weeks of research, testing, and comparison. From this experience, we were able to narrow it down to the top 10 winners.
In Review: Best Video Baby Monitors 2017
We created this list to help you choose what would work best for you. Having a top rated baby monitor can mean the difference between being able to give your child optimum attention and feeling resentful that you’ve turned into a slave for this little master.
But first, why is the Latest Nest Cam Indoor Security Camera not on our list?
This camera is hands down one of the best security cameras available, and is in fact the #1 seller in its category on Amazon at the moment. It gives you a live video feed in HD of what is going on in your home, 24 hours a day, and it can record video as well.
It does its work silently in the background and can be set to warn you if it detects movement. This way, you can relax and rest easy knowing that “someone” is watching the house for you.
This camera’s design is nearly flawless. It is small and doesn’t stick out very obviously, and the app and website that it works with are very easy to use. With just a few taps or clicks, everything is set up quickly and the camera is ready to start monitoring.
What makes this camera the perfect security and pet monitor?
- Wired, no dead batteries
- Magnetic stand that let you put it anywhere
- Activity alert – don’t miss a thing
- Up to 30 days of continuous video history
But is it as good for monitoring your baby as it is good for monitoring your home?
Truth to be told, although this is device can be used as Nest baby monitor this it is not designed to help parents and should not be used for the intent for watching the baby for extended periods of time.
- You can’t view what matters most – better for your pet rather than your baby
- The camera’s sound quality is average at best.
- While the Nest Cam will send you an alert if it senses motion or bigger sounds, you can end up getting a lot of false notifications, especially if you have pets.
- And moreover, the Nest Cam will only sends these alerts once every 30 minutes, making this specific function less useful and timely for baby monitoring.
- If you want to record video you must purchase nest subscription.
- Nest Cam can only work when your Wi-Fi is working and requires 2 Mbps upload speed broadband internet connection.
- Still NO integration with SmartThings, which was a great feature for original Dropcam (Pro).
Simply put this product is not created for parents.
First, the audio doesn’t run live in the background, so if you switch tasks on your device while using the app, you can’t actually hear what’s going on in the room. Unless you want to dedicate a tablet or computer solely to the use of this camera’s app, then it makes a poor baby monitor.
Second, if you set it to constantly stream video, it will kill your device’s battery very quickly. Being able to watch your baby on your phone might sound great in theory, but what happens if you need to actually use your phone? Then you have to decide between watching your baby and taking an important phone call.
The wide-angle, 130° view with 8x digital zoom makes it a great security camera, as well as its ability to stream HD both day and night. However, we’re convinced that it won’t make a good baby monitor because the possibility of lag or malfunction with the app is simply too high.
On the other hand, it’s a great device for watching your pets or keeping an eye on what your older kids are up to. If you want to thoroughly monitor your home, including the children and animals inside, a way to easily do this is to enable the subscription and record what goes on in your house. You can look over what happened after the fact this way, so of course it would make a bad baby monitor because of the lack of immediacy.
#1 Infant Optics DXR-8 – The Best Baby Video Monitor to Buy in 2017
One thing that makes this baby cam so different from all the others is the fact that you can actually change the lens on the camera.
This allows you to choose what sort of view you want for which situation, from a standard, zoomed-out view, to a close zoom, to a wide-angle view (though this last lens is sold separately).
No matter what, you can ensure that you will get the best, most detailed image possible of your baby, both day and night.
It’s one of those best WiFi baby monitors that can grow as your family does.
You can start with the zoom lens when your baby is a newborn so that you can get a close, detailed look.
Then as your baby tends to move around more, you can change the lens out for a wider view that captures his whole range of motion.
As your family expands, you can add more cameras (up to 3 more, for a total of 4) so that you can view multiple rooms or the same room from multiple angles.
It’s extremely simple and easy to set up. You don’t have to be a technology genius to get it working. Unlike the Nest Cam, it is just plug and play and doesn’t require you to mess with your WIFI router and your tablet, phone, or computer.
This monitor also features the ability to pan and tilt the camera remotely so that you can focus more closely on anything important.
- One device for your baby-in-crib and non-stop-going-everywhere kiddie.
- The 3.5 inch LCD is large and sound-activated.
- You can move the camera remotely with a pan / tilt and zoom function.
- It has a battery life of up to 10 hours.
- Two way communications and remote temperature display.
- Features thermostat.
- Screen will automatically sleep or turn on based on sound level.
- Good range of 700 foots.
- While it advertises a long battery life of 10 hours, this is actually in power-saving mode. If you keep the screen on the whole time, the battery life is actually just 6 hours.
- It makes a shrill beeping sound to warn you when the battery is ready to die or when the device is out of range, and this can be annoying.
- In multi-room mode with multiple cameras, it no longer has the audio alert function.
- The night vision mode looks bad when using the wide-angle lens. (Though it looks fine with the other lenses.)
- The signal can sometimes get interrupted by random things if the camera and receiver are too far apart.
In spite of a few flaws, this is still the best monitor for both babies and toddlers. Start with the standard or zoom lens when your baby is an infant, and switch to the wide angle lens as he grows into a toddler.
Moreover – the Remote Pan/Tilt Control allows you to remotely control the camera’s direction (quiet and discrete) so you can see the important activity more closely and detailed.
Once more than one camera is set up, your monitoring unit can be set to scan back and forth every 30 seconds through the various camera feeds, and it can also be set to display a split screen of the different images. We prefer the scanning option because it offers sound from each feed in turn, while you can only enable sound from one camera if you’re in split screen mode.
One of its problems is that even though it has a purported 700-foot range, the signal is often blocked by furniture, appliances, or walls—or sometimes even human bodies. Our microwave blocked the signal, for example.
Still, this is a great device because it has an interchangeable lens and a good quality image, both day and night. It does everything it should do, and it does it well.
Why we like it?
- 3.5 color sound activated LCD
- Pan/tilt and zoom
- Long battery life – up to 10h
- Two way communications allows you to talk to your baby.
- It has remote temperature display to be sure your baby sleep comfortable.
- No need to look at the screen constantly to see if your baby is oaky because of intergraded sound activated LEDs that will alarm you even when sound is turned off.
Best of all, the wireless transmission on this device is actually encrypted, so you don’t have to worry about anyone picking up your signal and being able to see what your family is up to.
What we don’t like is the advertised Long battery life,10 hours on power-saving mode, 6 hours with screen on – this, being one of the best battery life in industry (of video baby monitoring) means, you must change battery twice a day – lucky the device comes with rechargeable battery so you can charge it any USB outlet.
#2 Samsung SEW-3043W – Best 5.0″ Touch Screen All in One HD Baby Video Monitoring System
This BrightVIEW HD Video Monitoring System is a modern baby monitor that features a few nice extras that you normally wouldn’t find on such a device.
It has a long range—one of the best that we’ve seen in digital baby monitors of this kind—and features HD audio and video.
It offers a great night vision function that uses infrared LEDs so that your baby isn’t disturbed by visible light. In addition, you can optionally enable a soothing night-light as well as remotely play one of 4 pre-programmed lullabies.
The camera can cover most of the room with its pan / tilt function.
You can set the device to auto-detect noise and it will automatically turn the screen on when there is a loud sound, such as a baby crying (VOX mode). This is convenient because then you can focus on other things when your baby doesn’t need your attention.
Plus, you can set the sensitivity to sound when it is in this mode, so if you are concerned about even small noises, you can have the device alert you to any potential problems. There’s also an audio-only mode if you don’t want to deal with video for awhile.
- Features a large screen.
- Has pan / tilt function.
- Can be set to keep screen off unless noise is detected.
- Sensitivity to sound can be calibrated.
- Audio can be turned off.
- Video and audio quality are good.
- Features infrared night vision mode.
- Plays lullabies.
- Easy to set up and use.
- Has multi-camera capabilities. (Not recommended.)
The device is plug-and-play and works right out of the box. It is very easy to set up and doesn’t require any extra equipment to use. Within minutes, you can have the monitor watching your baby while you’re downstairs watching your favorite soap opera.
However, why is it not the best?
Well, it has a few flaws that we simply couldn’t ignore, even though it is overall a great baby monitor compared to most:
- For one, it doesn’t work well in multi-camera mode compared to the Infant Optics DXR 8 baby monitor. Though you can buy additional cameras and have up to 4 running at the same time, it has some annoying features that makes having multiple cameras not worth it.
For example, when in scan mode, it will stop scanning if you touch the screen. When it stops, you have to fiddle around with the interface and go through all the steps to make it scan again. On top of that, there’s no screen icon that tells you you’re even in scan mode so you actually have to physically watch it to know that it is.
There’s also a lag of about 2 seconds between each scan and the screen will stay on while it’s in scan mode, which can keep you awake at night.
- The camera has no batteries, so it will only work plugged in (because of its night light function). We actually kind of like this because it means that you don’t have to be concerned about battery life. However, we recognize that this reduces options for some people.
Besides that, it’s missing a temperature sensor, the lullabies have bad sound quality, and the lens is not wide enough to capture a whole room without panning and tilting. VOX mode is not enabled by default, which can be a bit annoying, and it only works in one room at a time.
- Multi-camera mode is annoying to use because of glaring design flaws.
- Camera must be plugged in and there is no option to use batteries.
- No temperature sensor.
- Lullaby sound quality is not very good.
- No wide angle lens.
- VOX mode is not default.
This top rated baby monitor, in spite of its problems, can still be a great choice. It has a large screen and has a remote pan / tilt function. The camera plugs into the wall, so there’s no need to worry about dead batteries, and it has a huge range of up to 900 feet, so it’s perfect even if you have a big house with multiple stories. Just don’t buy it for multiple cameras.
#3 Lorex BB2411 2.4″ Sweet Peek Video Baby Monitor with IR Night Vision and Zoom
The Lorex Sweet Peek has a lot of features that make it great, especially its multi-camera support. The monitor will toggle from camera to camera, pausing for about 5 to 10 seconds on each view.
You can also manually switch through them by pressing the “on” button. There is no split screen mode, but this is actually a good thing because the screen is much too small and portable to be able to support this well.
It’s a high quality monitor that works great, and you can see and hear your baby with wonderful clarity. It’s the kind of device that you can’t live without after using it for awhile.
The camera is not exactly wall-mountable. You could try it if you wanted to, but that would probably result in your being unable to aim it very well. It doesn’t have a large range of motion to being with, though you can pan it left to right as well as up and down. Your best bet is to probably place it somewhere up high near the baby, such as on a shelf.
The camera view that shows up on your monitor tends to stay on by default all the time, and even in the dark, you will get a pretty clear image of the room.
However, if you’d like to save battery power, you can set it to turn off the screen until it hears a noise. You can even customize what decibel level the noise should be before the screen turns itself on. Even when the video is off and the audio is off, a light on the monitor will glow green if your baby cries loudly.
When the image is zoomed in, you can pan. The camera itself isn’t moving when this happens, it’s just that you can examine the whole field of view by panning when the image is zoomed.
One annoying thing that we found, though, is that the monitor tends to freeze up often, and needs to be rebooted. This is rather unfortunate because if the unit malfunctions while you’re asleep, you may not even notice and you might think that the device is simply still in VOX mode.
Another annoyance for some customers is the fact that it will sometimes go out of range simply when taken upstairs or downstairs. It’s not the most user-friendly device in the world either, and it can interfere with your home WIFI network.
- Battery lasts up to 8 hours.
- Has a 450-foot wireless range.
- High quality night vision.
- Clear audio.
- Two-way communication.
- Built-in lullabies.
- Can be expanded to 4 cameras, so it can grow with your family.
- Can lose its connection even within range.
- Not as user friendly as other models.
- Monitor unit can freeze.
- WIFI interference can occur.
The Lorex is inexpensive and it gets the job done. The image during the day is crisp and the night vision view is good, too. The audio quality is great and so are the built-in lullabies.
However, take the stated range with a grain of salt.
If you have a large home, then the device may malfunction and lose its connection, so it works best if your home is small. If you’re having trouble losing the signal, you might try keeping it away from other electronics.
The two-way talk feature is extremely convenient on this device, and it allows you to calm your child without having to get up and leave your room. The night light and thermostat are also very practical. The real draw when it comes to this model, though, is the fact that it is very portable and will easily clip onto your clothes.
#4 Philips AVENT SCD630/37 with 3.5″ Color Screen and with The Most Secure Wireless Connection
The Philips AVENT is a good monitor with a lot to offer. It has an easy to see 3.5” screen and the image quality is top notch with decent night vision.
It has a surprisingly user-friendly interface, with a monitor that can last 12 hours without being plugged in. It’s a good idea to carry it around during the day, and then plug it in at night to avoid draining the battery while you sleep. The cameras themselves plug right into the wall, so they don’t need batteries.
The range on the device is also quite good, and you can even wander outside for a few yards without losing your signal.
The only obvious flaw is the fact that there is a lot of audio static. This wouldn’t be so bad except that it causes the “eco” mode to fail to turn on. The device will normally attempt to conserve power by turning the screen off unless it hears a loud noise, like a child’s cry. The fact that it hears its own static causes the screen to never automatically turn off.
- Secure wireless connection.
- Full color screen (3.5”).
- A range of 900 feet (300 meters).
- Infrared night vision.
- Wall mountable.
- Two-way communication.
- Thermostat display.
- User-friendly and highly portable.
- Cannot control the camera remotely using the monitor.
- Though the connection is good, there is background noise.
- Your video quality might be unusually poor. (In that case, ADVENT will replace it, though.)
The lullabies sound better than what you might hear coming out of an electric baby swing, but not by much. However, talking to your child through the monitor works great, even if it takes some getting used to on your baby’s end. The range is very good as well, even without extending the antenna. One of the only bothersome features on this device is the fact that the night vision kicks in automatically. Sometimes there is still a lot of light when it does this, and it would be better if there was some kind of override switch.
#5 ComfortCam Pro HD Baby Monitor with WiFi Secure Stream to your Device (iPhone or Android)
This device is our favorite choice for folks who want to use their smartphone or tablet to monitor their child. This way, you don’t have to carry around an extra device with you and constantly worry about whether you need to charge it. You can also view all 4 camera feeds at the same time on your smart phone.
This setup can really give you an extra feeling of security because you can use the app to set alerts on your device. Just as you get notifications for anything else, you can be alerted when there is a loud sound in your baby’s room or when there’s excessive moment. You can also share this connection with other family members.
The image you see on your screen will be in HD and you can control the camera’s view from the app with an up to 120-degree tilt and a 350-degree pan. You’ll be able to easily see the whole room by simply pinching to zoom and swiping to pan and tilt the camera.
This is the only baby monitor of its kind that provides a visual sound bar and allows you to set up alerts based on certain sound and visual conditions.
You can also communicate with your baby using the two-way system.
If you want to monitor your child outside of the home, you can also purchase the unlimited out-of-home viewing pack ($10/mo).
There’s really no reason to lug around a classic baby monitor when you can simply use your smartphone instead. The image is easier to see and the audio is crisper when you use your phone. This app works with just about any class of mobile device.
- Does not require an extra monitoring device besides your smartphone.
- Can control your camera remotely.
- Uses your in-home secure WIFI connection.
- User can easily set up alerts on app.
- HD quality viewing with full room coverage of 350° pan and 120° tilt,
In contrast to other WIFI-based systems, you don’t need to have an Internet connection for this device to work. (It does if you wish to monitor from outside the house.) It uses the secure private network that you already have, which makes it less prone to hacking than other devices.
You can easily zoom, pan, and tilt the cameras using your iphone, so you can keep a close eye on your child. Even at night, the image is very clear because of its high quality infrared lights. These automatically turn on when the camera senses that the light is waning.
- It is $10/month if you activate the remote viewing access.
- Not best for non-technical users as it requires set up and instructions can be hard to understand.
- The iPhone/Android app can freeze and you lose connection with your baby.
- The video is great but audio is not perfect.
This is a wonderful tool to use as a simple monitor, but it’s not ideal as a remote access device. Since it’s unlikely that you are going to leave your baby home alone, this not a very useful feature anyway. If you want to be able to see what is going on at home while you’re gone, invest in an actual security camera such as the Nest Cam instead.
This product is ideal for those who simply want to be able to record those precious moments of your baby singing, talking, or playing in their crib, as well as those who want to monitor their child without having to carry around an extra device.
#6 Motorola MBP33S – 2.8″ Color LCD with Zoom (Best Wireless Video Baby Monitor Under $100)
The Motorola MBP33S is our best choice for cheap baby monitor with color display, great night vision and zoom.
It also has two-way talk, a temperature sensor, a range of 590 feet, and five built-in lullabies.
You can add additional cameras to let you keep an eye on the entire family in up to 4 rooms of your home and you can view them in a split screen mode.
Even though our child lives all the way at the other end of the house, upstairs from where we keep the monitor, we never experienced any interference. The fact that the device alerts us if there’s a loud noise is very handy as well because we can just put the volume on its lowest setting and not worry about it. That way, we can easily get our beauty sleep because we aren’t disturbed unless something is really wrong!
The night vision is truly infrared, so no visible light will keep the baby awake.
- Good wireless day and night vision camera with ZOOM
- Two way audio communication with room and temperature display
- 200 meter range (590 feet) with out of range warning
- additional camera capability and LED alerts for noise level
- Encrypts the audio data it transfers for added security and peace of mind.
- The newer model of this device is more costly.
- The image quality isn’t as good as other monitors.
- Come customers experience problems with the USB charging port.
In short, this is a great device for those who are on a budget. Otherwise, choose from one of our top 3 picks.
#7 Summer Infant Baby Touch Pan/Scan/Zoom Video Baby Monitor, 3.5″
Are you looking for a baby cam that will last you a few years, one that you can use with an infant as well as a growing toddler?
The Summer Infant Baby Monitor has all of the basic features that you would need for the first couple of years of your child’s life, and the price isn’t bad at all.
Of course, if you’re looking for something with an impressive battery life or that has a spectacular image quality, this might not be the one for you.
As far as a starter digital baby monitor goes, though, this device is more than adequate if you plan on only monitoring one room. It has a range of 600 feet, which is quite good, and it’s very easy to pan and zoom using the touchscreen controls.
The baby camera that it comes with is mountable, and the view is wide enough that you can usually get a picture of the entire room. However, the image quality leaves quite a bit to be desired, and some customers have complained that the screen looks pixelated, especially when on a second camera.
There is no night light, by the way, as the night vision is completely infrared. This is perfect if you don’t want to disturb your infant’s sleep, but as your toddler grows older and more afraid of the dark, you might find that such a feature could be useful. Either way, you can sooth your child with two-way communication.
The main complaint actually concerns the multi-camera mode. The Summer infant video monitor supports up to 4 cameras, but some customers have found that it can bug when hooking up a second camera, or that the image will appear fuzzy and unusable.
When employing the multi-camera feature, the Summer baby monitor is supposed to progressively scan through each of the camera views every 8 seconds. You can also manually switch the view. When this mode does work, it seems to work well, and actually most reviews are overwhelmingly positive.
- Easy-to-use pan/scan/zoom touchscreen controls
- range up to 600-feet
- monitor multiple areas of the home (up to 4 cameras)
- 4-6 hours of continuous use on battery
- Battery life is a little bit on the lower side at only 4 to 6 hours.
- Device sometimes malfunctions in multi-camera mode.
- Image quality isn’t the best, especially in multi-camera mode.
If you put it on the charger with the screen on, it will stay on until you turn it off.
On batteries it will time out after a few minutes and the screen will shut off.
Since the few complaints about this Summer infant monitor stem from having multiple cameras, you might do well to not consider it as a choice if you have more than one room to spy on. However, if you have just one child, this is a great device that can provide you the of peace of mind you are looking for.
#8 Sumpple Dual Camera Baby Video Monitor (Best 2 Cameras and iPhone, Android and PC Support)
There’s a certain bliss that you experience when you find a device that simply “just works,” as they say in the Apple commercials.
There’s nothing more user friendly than something that works with devices that you already have and that doesn’t require the technical prowess of an expert to get them to integrate with each other.
The Sumpple is by far the best 2-camera wireless baby monitor that comes with phone support. That’s right, you can connect to the cameras using an app on your phone, and you can also use this same app to upload music to calm your baby down, record video, capture images, and set motion detection alerts.
The night vision is great and can see up to 15 meters in the dark. You can pan the view 340 degrees and tilt up to 120 degrees, all by using the user-friendly app as a remote control. It will also detect the temperature and humidity of the room so that you will know if you baby is comfortable.
If you’re concerned with getting a clear image of the room, this is a great dual baby monitor on that end, too. With the 8X digital zoom and the 1280*720 HD image, you’ll be able to see every detail of what your baby is up to.
- Stays in range as long as it’s connected to WIFI.
- Easy to use.
- Great image quality.
- Comes with two cameras.
- Can be controlled right from your phone.
- Has superior night vision.
- Allows you to set up alerts on your phone.
- Some customers have had trouble getting it to pick up the WIFI signal.
So, if you’re looking for the best dual baby video monitor that you can use right from the comfort of your smartphone, this is the one to get. Though it’s a little bit more pricey than other monitors, it comes with a second camera, so that kind of justifies the price.
#9 VTech VM321-2 Two Cameras Video Baby Monitor with Dedicated Monitor
Not everyone likes the whole smart phone thing, and there are plenty of reasons why you would want a dedicated monitor with your cameras.
The VTech VM321 is our #1 when it comes to 2-camera systems using a dedicated monitor.
It has tons of range (1,000 feet), has an adjustable lens, is wall mountable, and allows you to control the zoom from your monitor device. It will also sense the temperature of the room and alert you about it, as well as play lullabies.
As far as multi-camera support, it will work with up to 4 cameras. The only thing is that the audio is turned off if you are using split screen mode. A warning will come up on the screen if there is a loud noise (like a baby crying), but of course if you’re asleep, you won’t see this.
- Monitor uses DECT 6.0 technology for security.
- Range of up to 1,000 feet.
- Plays lullabies.
- Wall mountable.
- Can control zoom from parent unit.
- Parent unit includes “kickstand” to hold it up.
- Comes with two cameras at a great value.
- Not the best video / audio quality.
- Camera cannot pan / tilt.
- Split-screen mode does not feature sound. (Though there are visual indicators and vibration if there is a disturbance.)
The Vtech VM321 may not win any awards for superior image quality or camera maneuverability, but it comes at a great price with two cameras, has great range, and features most of what you would expect from an infant monitor. Highly recommended.
#10 Project Nursery 5” High Definition Baby Monitor System with 1.5″ Mini Monitor (Dual Monitor System)
The main point of any best rated baby monitor with video is to be able to see your baby as clearly and easily as possible.
The Project Nursery monitor achieves this on two fronts: It has a large 5” screen with a crisp and clear image, and it includes a second monitoring unit that is 1.5” wide and fits right on your wrist like a watch. It takes portability to a whole different level and makes watching your baby extremely convenient.
This is a high-quality, well-made digital baby monitor, but of course its main draw is the fact that the smaller monitor is hands-free and you can fiddle around in the kitchen, work out, or play with your other kids while still keeping an eye on the baby. It comes with several options to keep it on your person—a lanyard, wristband, or clip.
- Battery lasts up to 8 hours.
- Easy to set up.
- Can expand to 4 cameras.
- Allows 2-way communication.
- Includes thermometer, timer, and clock.
- Includes sound, motion, and temperature alert system.
- Extremely good night vision.
- Camera will not mount on wall.
- It’s a bit expensive.
- Range is not good in practice, though it advertises 800 feet.
- Can’t use both monitors at once.
If you want a monitor that has all of the key features such as the ability to pan, tilt, and zoom, as well as audio detection, alerts, and great night vision, then Project Nursery will more than satisfy you. The real selling point here, though, is that it comes with two monitors. That alone puts it ahead of many others.
Video Baby Monitor Buyers Guide – 2017 Update
Getting enough quality sleep is important for you and your baby. It can make a big difference in your quality of life and it plays a huge role for your baby’s brain development.
A good video baby monitor can help you both you and your baby to sleep better and stay healthy.
In fact, getting a good sleep is more important than eating good food.
And, if a gadget can make you fell better, improve your concentration, productivity and performance and help your children grow and develop, why not get the best one you can afford?
Beware, it’s not easy to choose the right baby video monitor for your family, since there are a lot of factors that go into the decision. On the one hand, you don’t want to jump on the first cheap gadget that you find, but on the other hand you don’t want to paralyze yourself with too much thinking, either.
To help you along, we reviewed and chose the best baby monitors for 2017 that we could find and listed them above with all their details. However, you might still be a bit unsure of which one to choose.
What Makes One Monitor Better Than The Next?
We carefully tallied up all of the important key points to keep in mind while you choose:
Day & Night Video and Audio Quality
Is your baby blurry? Can you barely hear anything?
If so, then what’s the point of the monitor?
Naturally, you’re probably not going to find a wireless baby monitor with stunning imagery and digital surround sound audio.
There’s no point in that, either.
All baby and infant monitors we tried didn’t deliver breathtaking audio, and neither did they deliver video as crisp as what you would see on your smart phone, especially when it came to night vision.
However, all you really need is “good enough,” since your baby’s not trying to win an Oscar or anything. If the quality of the image is really that important to you, then get an HD security camera instead.
Battery Life – The Longer The Better!
Having a battery can be very freeing because you can go anywhere and still have the monitor by your side, even when it’s time for bed.
If the camera runs on batteries, you can place it anywhere you want and relocate it with ease when you need to move the baby to another room.
For example, you can put it over the crib when the baby is sleeping, and then move it to the play area when the baby is playing.
The problem with this is that battery power will eventually run out. If you don’t charge it in time, you may lose your signal.
So when it comes to a camera, it’s probably best to find one that plugs in to the wall and that you can move (by zooming, tilting, and panning) via remote control.
As far at the parent unit goes, you should definitely keep it plugged in at night. This way you never have to worry that it won’t alert you if your baby is crying. For during the day, you want a monitor that can last unplugged as you’re moving around the house.
In order to save energy, some monitors will turn the screen off until they sense a loud sound or a lot of movement. This is a great feature, but be sure that the monitor is sensitive enough to notify you even when there are subtle problems. For example, some babies have acid reflux or allergies.
Range – The More The Better!
Yet another thing to consider is how far you can go before you lose the connection.
Many monitors will let you know with a loud beep when you’ve roamed too far, but sometimes they can let out a false alarm and this is especially irritating when you’re trying to sleep. One thing you can do to mitigate this is to find a monitor that has very wide range. You can also avoid sleeping in a room with appliances that might interfere with the signal.
There are a few factors that determine range. The vast majority of monitors will use the 2.4 ghz wavelength, so your range will depend on how many other electronic devices are sending out signals in this band (such as bluetooth headsets or wireless keyboards), and how many walls or bookcases you have that could block the signal. You might also have to consider whether or not your neighbors could be using a similar device. Finally, how far you keep the monitor from the camera obviously has an effect, too.
What we suggest is that you buy a monitor with a long range. Don’t trust video baby monitor reviews but test out the signal by turning it on and go into every room to see if it loses its connection. If it fails, then return it and get a different device.
If you want to bootstrap your baby’s military training and get them used to using radio communication at a young age, then you might find this feature useful.
However, it’s a little weird and it’s easy to see why the baby might get scared hearing your disembodied voice.
Did mom turn into a ghost?
It’s probably better to use this when your child gets a little older and understand the difference when you speak them through the monitor or in person.
Ease of Use
- Are you a “plug and play” kind of person?
- Do you want stuff that just works?
- Or are you more hands-on and enjoy tinkering?
There are best rated baby monitors that suit every kind of personality, both devices that work right out of the box with just a charger, and more complicated security systems that need to be set up. Obviously, the latter can provide you with more information, but it comes at the price of being harder to use.
Dedicated Monitor Or Your Phone As a Monitor?
Hint: A dedicated monitor is a better choice.
Speaking of smart phones, getting a monitoring system that just uses the device that you already have can save a lot of trouble. You don’t have to keep up with two devices that need to constantly be charged.
However, there’s something to be said for simplicity. A baby camera monitor made especially to work with certain cameras will do its job best because it only has one singular job to do.
It will be less prone to freezing because it doesn’t multi-task. In addition, some baby monitor apps won’t notify you if they’re running in the background.
So if you switch apps and start playing Angry Birds, your baby could be wailing his head off on the other side of the house and you wouldn’t know!
Because of this, I wouldn’t trust a buggy app to keep me informed about my baby. It could mean the difference between life and death.
Other Things to Consider:
- Security and Safety of Information
Make sure that your baby cam uses a secure connection and that only you have control of the camera or can see any stored data. You may not be technically inclined, though, in which case a simpler monitor that does not connect to the Internet may be in order, unless you feel very compelled to be able to share your footage with others online.
- Is the Monitor Connected to the Internet?
You can easily find both baby camera monitors that can connect to the Internet, and ones that won’t use your WIFI. The nice thing about being able to view video streaming of your WiFi baby monitor through the Internet is that you can check on your child while you’re somewhere else (and also see what the babysitter is up to).
Of course, this also increases the level of complication.
You need to be tech savvy to set up these kinds of monitors, and there’s also potential security issues as mentioned before. Most “hacking” occurs not through any complicated means, but simply because people left their password as the default. These days, many routers and other networking devices will force you to set a unique password, but you’re still only as secure as that small barrier.
You can simply not worry about this kind of thing at all though if you just don’t use a networked baby monitor. Yes, you would be confined to viewing the video only through the screen of your parent unit, but it’s perfect for those who don’t have smart phones or who aren’t technically inclined, especially if you have someone elderly watching your child.
- A Wireless Monitor or One That’s Tethered to the Outlet?
Everyone loves portability. With a wireless monitor, you can carry it around during the day and then plug it in at night next to your bed.
The problem with this of course is that it needs to be charged at some point. That’s not a big deal if it has good battery life, but what happens if it runs out of charge unexpectedly?
You might not realize it is off, but your baby could be crying. Most decent monitors will warn you when the battery is low, though.
You may find out that some baby video monitor reviews recommend to go for a wired one as more reliable, but it is less convenient and you can always plug the wireless cameras into the wall if you’re paranoid of running out of batteries.
- IR night vision or Constant Soft Night Light?
Maybe your toddler is at that age where they’re becoming afraid of the dark. In that case, a soft night light could be exactly what you need.
There are some drawbacks to this, though. If your camera runs on batteries, this can eat up power quickly. In addition, your baby could become psychologically acclimated to the light and be unable to sleep in the dark as they get older.
To leave your options open, you can just get a monitor with IR vision and then buy an inexpensive night light separately.
How to Choose the Best Video Baby Monitor?
So what do you really want to focus on when choosing a baby monitor
- Good sound quality & video quality (day and night)
- The ability to pan, tilt, and zoom remotely.
- Long battery life
- Sound activation that has a truly silent parent device when baby is quiet
- An automatic screen dimming function where the screen turns off during times of inactivity and turns back on if the audio reaches a certain level.
- Easy to setup, sound level adjustment, and two-way talk (eventually)
- If it uses an app, it should be compatible with iOS or Android.
- If Internet-enabled, the ability to share images and video with other family members.
What is the Best Video Baby Monitor for You?
A good video monitor will help you relax and sleep, knowing that you won’t be oblivious in an emergency, and it will also allow you to keep an eye on your child during the day.
We carefully tallied up all of the features of these various monitors and chose the best one that offered the sort of functionality that parents truly need.
When you have a good monitoring system, the camera will usually be able to pan, tilt, and zoom, and you can often control this remotely.
Cheaper baby monitors will sometimes have an automatic panning function if you zoom, but most of the time this isn’t a “true” zoom—meaning, the lens is not physically (optically) zooming, but rather the device is digitally zooming. This results in poorer image quality, particularly in the dark.
The best thing you can do is to just focus on flexibility. Train the camera on your baby’s bed and keep it in a mode where everything looks as clear as possible.
Good monitors will grow with your baby so that when your child is older and tends to roam around the entire room, you can change the lens and capture a wider image.
- Just One Camera or Several of Them?
How many cameras you need for your spying operation depends on how many children you have. Do they tend to hang out in the same room, or do they switch rooms a lot?
Sometimes it’s hard to see more than one feed on the tiny screen of most infant monitors. You’ll probably either have to toggle the image from room to room, or you’ll have to opt for a bigger screen.
Besides, you can only get audio from one feed if you have your cameras displaying in split-screen mode, so we prefer the mode that toggles between the different camera feeds.
Now, if you just have one baby, then you probably don’t need more than one camera. One-camera monitors are not only cheaper, but they are just easier to use. The sound and video quality is almost always better as well.
The fact that you have to share the monitor between all the cameras can be inconvenient to use and you’re forced to choose between spit-screen mode and a mode that rotates between the cameras. Due to different noise volumes in each room, though, you might find that constant switching between microphones to be annoying in the rotation mode but we never had this problem with Infant Optics DXR-8 two cameras setup.